TOHSTI kicks it old school. Graff-covered blackboards, school desks and laid-back ’90s hip-hop – the sense of childhood nostalgia is strong. There’s even talk of reviving the epitome of classroom joie de vivre, the lunch order bag (to fill out and collect later). The crew’s focus is on “Bringing customers back to the days when you had no stresses in life – at all”. After all, toasties are the ultimate comfort food.
And a TOHSTI toastie puts your late-night Vegemite-and-cheese slap-together to shame. Combos include tandoori chicken served with a side of yoghurt dip and salad, and the Livin’ It Up, stuffed with avocado, spinach, mozzarella, jalapeños and tomato. The team’s daily trips to the Central Market are often followed by bouts of experimentation.
"Toasties are something everyone loves," says manager and barista Levi Ayuso. "You’ve got to make a them pretty amazing for people not to make them at home."
The cafe is one of two new Renew Adelaide projects (check out Bodri's Hungarian goulash, too). With 20-plus options on the board on any day (from a total of – at last count – 72 they’ve come up with), Tohsti has breakfast, lunch and dessert covered. "We do old favourites like spaghetti and cheese but there's also options like chicken liver pate with onion relish," Ayuso says. "The dessert range includes mixed berries, white chocolate and cream cheese.".
Vegan options using Nuttelex in place of butter are also available, plus fruit smoothies, salads and health-conscious to-go snacks.
Ayuso brews limited runs of exploratory cold-drip concoctions using beans from Sydney roaster Numero Uno Coffee. Espresso origins change regularly, depending on what’s good, and are served with local Tweedvale milk.